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James Franklin, Al Golden Top Penn State's List of Coaching Candidates

Now that the Penn State community has had a few hours to digest the fact that the football program is currently without a head coach, it’s time to focus attention on hiring a new head coach, and fast. News that Bill O’Brien agreed to a deal to become the head coach of the Houston Texans broke late on Tuesday night, when many people were in the middle of New Year’s Eve celebrations.  James Franklin and Al Golden appear to be at the top of the list of replacement candidates.

Bob Flounders of PennLive.com cites sources close to the university in saying that Franklin, the current coach at Vanderbilt and Golden, the coach at the University of Miami, are the two names that Penn State is pursuing first.

Franklin’s name has been a popular one in the past week or so, being mentioned along with the vacant job at the University of Texas as well as several NFL openings. He would be a popular hire for the Nittany Lions, considering the was born in Pennsylvania and played college football as a quarterback at East Stroudsburg University. Franklin has been coaching at the collegiate level since 1995 and even spent a season with the Green Bay Packers.

He’s been the head man at Vanderbilt since 2011 and has an overall record of 23-15.

Golden has been a head coach at the collegiate level since 2006 six and has strong ties to both Pennsylvania and Penn State. He was a tight end under Joe Paterno from 1987-1991 and the head coach of the Temple Owls from 2006-2010. He severed one year on the Penn State coaching staff in 2000 and became the head coach at Miami in 2011.

Golden is 22-15 at Miami and 49-49 overall as a head coach.

In the meantime at Penn State, Larry Johnson, who’s been on the staff since 1996, has been named the interim coach.

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Tags: Al Golden Bill O'Brien Football James Franklin Penn State Nittany Lions

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